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Practical joke (Lindsey Durway)
Data General Corp., Research Triangle Park, NC; (919) 248-6166.
(true, funny)

Dear Brad, With permission of the author, Terry Smith, I'm submitting his description of a practical joke that he and a friend played on another friend as a birthday gag.

Terry is

The following account describes a practical joke played on a friend for his 40th birthday. The submission comes from the narrator, Terry Smith. Paul is Terry's partner in crime, while Mark is the poor sot having the birthday. This really happened.

Minneapolis. Saturday.

11:00 AM - My friend Paul and I walk down the street in front of Mark's house. We are wearing surgical pants & shirt, stethoscopes, weird translucent masks, and yellow plastic fedoras. I am carrying a boom box playing the theme from "The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly." We are looking at a map as though lost in this quiet, suburban neighborhood, yet we do not ask Mark for directions. He is watching his baby play in the yard as we pass. He stares, says nothing.

12:30 PM - Mark is sent to the grocery store. We are there, same costumes, same music. But this time, we have small hand mirrors. We flash signals at him from across the parking lot as he walks into the store. He stares, does nothing. While he is in the store, we place a handwritten note under his windshield wiper. It says, "Today is your Day, Leviticus 9:14." A woman drives past and tells us we look like gynecologists. We disappear.

2:00 PM - Mark, wife, and kid go to furniture store. Guess who shows up? Right, us. Since we want to move in closer now, we wrapped our faces completely in white gauze. We get very very close, invading his personal space as he tries to walk down the sidewalk with his family (his wife is in on the whole thing). We do not talk - instead we make small noises that sound like TWEET TWEET. We have tags on our shirts that say "Burn Victims." Paul holds an international picture communication book in Mark's face; he points at a picture of a man playing golf. Mark is very annoyed, but responds "So you want to play some golf?" We say TWEET TWEET and nod our bandaged heads. They all get in the car and drive away. Paul and I stand silently next to the car as they exit. "The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly" stings the ears of innocent bystanders.

3:30 PM - Mark's wife has made dinner reservations at a French restaurant. Paul & I go there and speak with the manager and tell him our plan. They buy the whole thing and agree to cooperate in full.

7:00 PM - Mark and guests arrive dressed for a fancy dinner. As they are seated, they notice a boom box in the corner. It is playing the same weird music as earlier. Mark doesn't seem to notice. He orders soup, gets it, and discovers a bloody band-aid floating in it. He calls the waiter (Rolf), and Rolf apologizes and goes to get the managers - us. On that note, we appear from the kitchen (where we've been having a little vino and watching through a porthole). We are wearing tuxedos, masks, yellow hats, and frantically saying TWEET TWEET TWEET! Finally, we show ourselves, Mark laughs like a raving maniac, we pull guns and kill the other guests, we give Rolf a big tip and call it a night.

Yes it was one hell of a 40th birthday surprise. For his 50th we're talking about burning his house.

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